On Life and Conduct
1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
2And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.
4Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
5When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
6Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
7For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
8You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.
9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.
17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
22Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
26Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
27For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.
34And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35“They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”